Advertising
Advertising

7 Side Hustles For Your 20s

7 Side Hustles For Your 20s

As a modern-day millennial, you’re likely stuck with mountains of student loans, bills, and the general stresses associated with that mystical art of “adulting.” Finding a successful “side-hustle” becomes an imperative way to supplement your income without having to pick up a second job. As a self-proclaimed side-hustle artist, I have weeded through various side hustles to find the most lucrative, money-making options for 20-somethings and beyond.

Mystery Shopping – A Closer Look

Mystery shopping (also known as secret shopping) is a method of quality control for business owners. Secret shoppers are hired to evaluate a business for cleanliness, customer service, and overall efficiency. A Closer Look is an award winning international mystery shopping company. The majority of shops require shoppers 21 and above, but some shops skew younger or older. Age evaluation shops often require shoppers between the ages of 21 and 29 to ensure that restaurants and bars are checking the identification of young patrons. A Closer Look features shops at restaurants, bars, hotels, gyms, concerts, and more. Most shops only reimburse you for the amount of your visit, but many will pay you simply for performing the shop.

Advertising

Clothing Resale – Poshmark

Unlike consignment shops, which will often take half of what your items are sold for, Poshmark takes only 20% of whatever your item is sold for (or $2.95…whichever is greater). You list and set the prices yourself. Shipping is included in the 20% fee, so all you need to do is print out the shipping label and plop it on the free priority mail packing materials available at USPS. Poshmark accepts men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. Earnings can be transferred directly to your bank account or you can request a check.

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – mTurk

Interersted in getting paid to help with research? Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a site powered by Amazon for non-computer related tasks. Tasks can include research studies at a university level or tasks such as flagging inappropriate images. You can sign up with an Amazon account and elect to have your earnings as an Amazon gift card or have them deposited into your bank account. While I was a student, I used my Mechanical Turk earnings to pay for all of my textbooks.

Advertising

Pet Sitting – Rover

Love animals? Pet sitters are needed in your area! Rover allows pet sitters to connect with pet owners in need of canine or feline care. You set your own rates and accept jobs based on your schedule. Pet owners are in need of dog walkers, short visits, long visits, in-home, and out-of-home care. Whether you’re willing to stay at someone else’s house or would prefer to host a pet in your own home, there’s a job for you. If you’re home for the holidays or summer, you’ll see an extra boost in inquiries as people travel on vacation.

Fiverr

If you have a unique talent or special skill, Fiverr could be the place for you to make money from home. Fiverr is, quite literally, a site of things people will do for $5. Categories include teaching English or foreign language classes via Skype, putting up posters at local businesses, editing papers or resumes, and more.

Advertising

Babysitting/Housesitting – Care

If you enjoy working with children, Care is a great place to be connected with families in your area in need of an occasional babysitter or long-term nanny. You are able to filter your requests by the ages of the children, the amount you would like to be paid, and the family’s distance from you. Care encourages to chat prior to booking a job to ensure that you are comfortable with the family, and the family is comfortable with you. Care also offers housesitting and errands for extra cash.

AirBnB/HomeAway

Have an extra room in your home you’d be willing to rent out? Travelers are looking for affordable alternatives to traditional hotels. Opening up your home not only puts money in your wallet, but offers a hospitality experience like no other. Travelers are typically from out-of-town, and your recommendations enhance their stay more than a stuffy hotel would. You name your rates and availability and can adjust accordingly based on special events taking place in your area.

Advertising

Flexibility is key in finding successful side hustles. While not all of these options will fit with your schedule 24/7, the ability to name your own prices and hours is key to staying steady.

More by this author

Melissa Manson

Media Planner and Buyer

7 Side Hustles For Your 20s Taking the Mystery Out of Mystery Shopping

Trending in Money

1 How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them 2 25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education 3 10 Recession-Proof Debt Consolidation Tips 4 The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever) 5 25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 2, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

2. Keep Goals Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

Advertising

4. Short Term Vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

Advertising

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

Advertising

5. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

6. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

Advertising

3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding:

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

Use compound interest when setting financial goals

    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

    Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

    4. Measure, Measure, Measure

    All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

    Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

    The Bottom Line

    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

    More Tips on Financial Goals

    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next